National Board Certification to Be Cheaper, Smoother

nbptslogoThe recession, questions concerning the connection between teachers and student test scores, and the increased importance of federal grants have all combined in recent years to diminish the role of NBPTS national certification for teachers.  Currently, the number of teachers with this designation sits around 102,000.

But with the recent announcement by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that they will decrease the credential’s price tag by $600, give teachers more flexibility in completing the required assessments, and integrate new information into the certification process, including student surveys and measures of students’ academic progress, new NBPTS head Ronald Thorpe hopes to increase teacher professionalism and reinvigorate national certification.

The new process will reorganize the assessments required for certification into four chunks, broadly measuring a teacher’s content knowledge; use of data to meet students’ needs and set goals for them; classroom pedagogy, based on a video analysis; and classroom effectiveness. Teachers will be permitted to complete the four modules in any order under a pay-as-you-go approach.

The changes come in part because of a $3.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which will enable NBPTS to make changes to its national certification that align with the last decade of research about the role of teachers.

Previously, the NBPTS had charged a $2,500 application fee for the board’s credential, and increasing numbers of states have either been unwilling to subsidize this fee or to grant teachers bonuses in pay if they achieve the certification.

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